Stricter transhipping rules proposed for Queensland

The proposed policy would mean transhipping would be considered an environmentally-relevant activity (ERA) requiring regulation under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 Photo: FarbenfroheWunderwelt/flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0 The proposed policy would mean transhipping would be considered an environmentally-relevant activity (ERA) requiring regulation under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 Photo: FarbenfroheWunderwelt/flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

A draft policy has been issued by the Queensland government, proposing stricter rules for transhipping activities in the state’s waters and particularly in the Great Barrier Reef area.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said the proposed policy would mean transhipping would be considered an environmentally-relevant activity (ERA) requiring regulation under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

It recognises the environmental risks of offshore loading and unloading of bulk cargo cannot be adequately managed under the current regulatory framework of the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008.

Mr Miles said the intention was to make sure transhipping is regulated consistently across Queensland and Commonwealth waters in the Great Barrier Reef region, with particular focus on ensuring bulk commodities are transhipped well away from the Great Barrier Reef.

Treating the transhipment of bulk cargoes as an ERA means stricter conditions for shipping companies and greater enforcement options for the Environment Department if the reef is harmed. The policy has been opened to public consultation.

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